Stevie Wonder is accused of being insensitive after comments he made about recently out singer Frank Ocean.
The 62-year-old Motown legend told The Guardian‘s Paul Lester that he “liked” Ocean but that he was simply confused about his sexual orientation.
“I think honestly, some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused,” Stevie Wonder said. He added, “People can misconstrue closeness for love. People can feel connected, they bond. I’m not saying all [gay people are confused]. Some people have a desire to be with the same sex. But that’s them.”
It appears that Stevie Wonder was attempting to be supportive with his comments, The Huffington Post noted, though that is not how they came across.
Frank Ocean is an R&B singer who has written songs for Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Beyoncé. He revealed in July that his first love at age 19 was a man.
“I was 19 years old. He was too,” Ocean noted on his blog. “We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost… Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping.”
The comments have since earned praise for Ocean and his willingness to discuss openly an issue that a few years ago could have ended his career.
His admission might have actually helped Frank Ocean’s latest album, Channel ORANGE, MTV.com noted. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts and sold 131,000 copies in the first week. He has since been booked to perform on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live and on the MTV Video Music Awards.
Stevie Wonder has at least one other connection to Frank Ocean. Many critics have noted that Agent ORANGE bears a strong resemblance to Wonder’s early work.
UPDATE: Following this report Stevie Wonder sent Inquisitr the following letter clarifying his stance on his support for the gay community:
“I’m sorry that my words about anyone feeling confused about their love were misunderstood. No one has been a greater advocate for the power of love in this world than I; both in my life and in my music. Clearly, love is love, between a man and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man. What I’m not confused about is the world needing much more love, no hate, no prejudice, no bigotry and more unity, peace and understanding. Period.Stevie Wonder
August 31, 2012”